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Technique
  

Photoshop CS4 Extended


Master 3D
texturing and
rendering
The new version of
Photoshop makes
importing and handling
3D files a snap. Justin
Maller shows you how
to go about texturing
and integrating 3D with
your composition
One of the biggest challenges I have faced when
creating work that features 3D elements is getting them to mesh
seamlessly with my composition. Getting the textures spot on and
the lighting in sync with the rest of the piece was quite a chore, one
that I usually handled by batch rendering 20 or 30 versions of the
same model from different perspectives to ensure that I had 01 Create
something appropriate to work into the piece. With the advanced 3D something 3D. I have
file handling in CS4 this process is made substantially easier, as the just opened up
program enables me to introduce 3D elements directly into my Cinema4D and thrown
document and manipulate everything from their orientation to their some random splines
texturing directly. In this tutorial we will look at importing 3D files, into a Loft NURBS
various aspects of texturing and integration, as well as how to object. You can create
manipulate the lighting of the scene. something of your own
here, or just open up
this file (one.obj) from
this month’s disc.
Ensure that you export
it a wavefront OBJ file.

Justin Maller On the disc Time needed 02 Fire up


A freelance The files 1-2 hours Photoshop CS4 and
illustrator from accompanying this
Skills create a new
Melbourne, tutorial can be found
Australia, Justin at DiscContents\ Importing document at
enjoys sneakers and Resources\Texture 3D files 125x125mm. Find
basketball. When not Texturing in a good texture that
indulging in the finer Photoshop
you’d like to use for
things in life, he Lighting in
Photoshop the project, or
creatively directs the
alternatively just open
depthCORE.com
collective. Learn up the texture I have
more at www. included on this
superlover.com.au month’s disc (rock.jpg)
and www.depth and duplicate it into
core.com the main document.

Computer Arts May 2009

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04 Let’s set this object up as the


focal point of our document, and get to
03 This is a good time to know some of the basic 3D tools. Select 05 In the 3D panel, select the Materials filter (third from
optimise your workspace for 3D work the 3D Rotate tool and play with rotating left). Click on the icon next to Diffuse, and select Open Texture
– simply select Advanced 3D from the the form in real time. Now click and hold from the drop-down menu; this will open up a blank document
Workspace menu (Window>Workspace) on that tool, and select the 3D Scale in a new tab. Return to the rock.jpg document and copy then
and import the 3D file into your tool. Click and drag your mouse upwards paste it into the ‘Diffuse’ document. Save your change, and
document (3D> New Layer From 3D File). to increase the size of the model. return to the main document.

07 Let’s integrate this with our 08 To get this texture looking


background a little better. Click the more realistic, add a bump map to it.
06 The texture on your form should now be updated. toggle next to ‘Environment’ and create Click the icon next to Bump Strength
One of the best features in CS4 is the facility to make changes a new texture. Click again and open it, and introduce a new texture. Paste the
in that external document, save them and see the results then paste in the rock texture. Repeat rock texture in and adjust the levels
reflect immediately in the texture of your 3D. As you can see, this process with Reflectivity, setting the (Ctrl/Cmd+L) so that the piece is darker.
though, the texture has not been applied very well – we need to reflection value to 1. Play with the 3D Now click Save and return to the main
reparameterize! Select it from the 3D menu and click on the Rotate tool to see how the form now document. Set the Bump Strength to 3
Low Distortion option. interacts with its surroundings. and observe the new level of detail.

Tiled painting
If you’re using
bigger or more detailed 3D
forms (especially more
elaborate abstract forms) you
might want to give tiled painting
a try. In a new document,
prepare the texture as you
usually would. Select your final
merged layer and define it as a
New Tiled Painting (3D>New
Tiled Painting.) This will create
a smart object. Save the file as 09 The lighting of a piece is critical. 10 Add a spotlight to the composition by clicking the
a PSD and then load it into your Returning to the 3D panel, filter by Lights (far new icon at the bottom of the palette and selecting New
main document as the diffuse right icon). The scene comes pre-lit with three Spotlight. Use the Light Adjusting tools to set it to the rear of
texture. This will give you more infinite lights. To make them visible, toggle the object, casting light forth. This will help to illustrate and
even and detailed coverage.
Light Visibility (bottom of palette, second highlight the depth and dimensionality of the object.
from left). Now adjust them using the Light
Adjusting tools to the left of the panel so that
they are above and below the object, throwing
a dramatic and contrasting light.

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